Willie Nelson & Family Deliver Mash-Up Of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” & “I’ll Fly Away” At 2018 Farm Aid
Farm Aid / YouTube
When Willie Nelson, Neil Young, and John Mellencamp organized the very first Farm Aid concert in 1985, they probably didn’t realize they’d still be going strong over 30 years later.
The Purpose of Farm Aid
The musicians wanted to raise awareness about “the loss of family farms” and to raise money for family farms throughout America. In 2001, Dave Matthews joined Nelson, Young, and Mellencamp on the Board of Directors.
Through these concerts each year, Farm Aid has raised over $53 million. Watch Farm Aid’s Board of Directors explain more about their work in this video.
2018’s Farm Aid festival took place on September 22 at XFINITY Theater in Hartford, Connecticut and featured performances from Margo Price, Lukas Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Kacey Musgraves, Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, and of course, the Dave Matthews Band, Mellencamp, Young, and Nelson.
According to Farm Aid’s Facebook page, the festival was sold-out and had 24,000 fans in attendance.
A Legendary Closing Performance
Nelson and his family closed out the show, performing upwards to 20 songs, including some of his hits, as well as some legendary covers. One of the incredible covers he performed, and closed out the festival with, was a gospel medley of ‘Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and “I’ll Fly Away.”
Nelson and his son Lukas began the song as a duet, but as they continued, more and more people joined them on stage – including Margo Price, Nathaniel Rateliff, David Amram, Ian Mellencamp, and more of the Farm Aid 2018 performers.
History Of The Song
“Will The Circle Be Unbroken” is a hymn written in the early 1900s by Ada R. Habershon and Charles H. Gabriel. It is often mashed-up with another hymn, “I’ll Fly Away,” which was written in 1929 by Albert E. Brumley.
Nelson has previously performed the two songs together and it was the perfect way to end Farm Aid!
Watch Nelson’s full performance below.